Tonbridge launches ‘virtual’ fundraising weekend 

Boys at Tonbridge School are continuing to show their strong support for the community as they get ready for a weekend of fundraising.

Both of the events planned will happen in a ‘virtual’ style, and both will help local charities. On Saturday (2 May), the school’s annual cross-country event, The CRAS, will take place, only this time each boy will run (or perhaps walk) to raise funds for West Kent Mind, the mental health charity. Boys, staff and families will all be taking part and can cover a distance of either 3km, 5km or 6.5km.

While the origins of the name are obscure, this popular race has been known as The CRAS since about 1910. In normal circumstances, it takes place in school grounds and sees prizes awarded in Novi (first year), Juniors (years two and three) and Seniors (Sixth Form) categories.

The Novi will then be supporting Kent-based homelessness charity Porchlight by taking part in an adapted version of the annual ‘Sleepout’ this Saturday night.

Each year, first year boys give up the comfort of their own bed to ‘sleep rough’ for a night in the school Quad. At the same time, they hear more about the work of Porchlight and gain a deeper understanding of the social issues that can lead to someone being left without a home or anywhere to stay.

This year, boys have been set the challenge of joining in the spirit of the Sleepout by ‘getting creative’ and making a shelter in a garden or bedding down for the night in an unusual area of their house. There will be live ‘link-up’ groups during the evening and prizes will be given for the most innovative shelters built by the boys.  

James Fisher, the school’s Deputy Head, Co-Curricular, said: “While these are extraordinary times for us all, we are looking forward to coming together as a whole school community of boys, parents, staff and families, and to raise some much-needed funds in the process.

“We’re sure that everyone will rise to the challenge, show some imagination and join in these fun events from their homes across the globe. We can’t wait to see the photos and to hear about individual efforts as boys share their experiences.” 

Mr Fisher added: “We are very pleased to be supporting West Kent Mind and Porchlight, which play such important roles in our community. We are aware that smaller, local charities are likely to be hardest hit by a drop in fundraising income at present, while at the same time seeing a huge increase in those needing to access their services.”

Donations and messages of support can be made via the following links: The CRAS and Novi Virtual Sleepout: for the latter, donations can be made centrally or to individual House fundraising pages.

Tonbridge School’s boys, staff and parents raised more than £113,000 for good causes during the academic year of 2018-19. This total, which set a Tonbridge record for funds raised in a single year, was donated to more than 20 local, national and international charities.  

Pictured above and below: Last year's CRAS and Novi Sleepout.

  • Social Responsibility